Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 books by Austinites [Updated]

Post updated and moved to here.

For your holiday shopping this year, I thought I'd highlight some of the books written or illustrated this year by members of the Austin youth literature community:

Picture Books written by Austinites:

Shark vs. Train, by Chris Barton
Chicken Big, by Keith Graves
Holler Loudly, by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Picture Books Illustrated by Austinites:

Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale, ill. by Patrice Barton
Nonna Tell Me A Story, ill. by Laura Logan
She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story, ill. by Don Tate

Chapter Books, Middle Grade and Tween Novels:

Starfish, by James Crowley
Sunshine Picklelime, by Pamela Ferguson
The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter, by John Gosselink
Truth with a Capital T, by Bethany Hegedus
Brains for Lunch, by K.A. Holt
The Necropolis, by P.J. Hoover
Clementine, Friend of the Week, by Sara Pennypacker
Betti on the High Wire, by Lisa Railsback
Noonie's Masterpiece, by Lisa Railsback
Anna Maria's Gift, by Janice Shefelman
Front Page Face-off, by Jo Whittemore
Layla, Queen of Hearts, ill. by Patrice Barton

Young Adult Novels:

Saving Maddie, by Varian Johnson
The Less-Dead, by April Lurie
Bad Blood, by Mari Mancusi
The Cardturner, by Louis Sachar
Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences, by Brian Yansky

Sunday, December 26, 2010


WORDS IN THE DUST, by Trent Reedy (Scholastic 2011)(ages 10+). Thirteen year-old Zulaikha lives in an Afghanistan recently liberated from the Taliban. But her concerns are more immediate than the politics of Kabul: getting along with her stepmother; dealing with her siblings; preparing for her sister's upcoming wedding; ignoring the taunts and almost always-horrified reactions to her appearance; and surreptitiously learning to read and write the poetry that so inspired her mother.

Then the Americans come to town, offering protection, opportunities, and a new life. And surgery to fix Zulaikha's cleft palate...

In WORDS IN THE DUST, Trent Reedy offers a human face to what is, for many, a far-off war. Reedy compellingly captures the rhythms of a small Afghan town and the dreams and personalities of its residents. Zulaikha is utterly believable as she reaches toward the future that is now available to her. Ultimately, WORDS IN THE DUST delivers as a finely-wrought novel of love, hope, and decency.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The AUSTIN CHRONICLE covers the YA scene...

This week's Austin Chronicle has an extensive look at YA literature here in Austin:

"Read Cynthia Leitich Smith's Tantalize series, and you may never look at those Con­gress Avenue bats the same way again..."

The article covers the writing community, local book clubs, Book People, APL teen programming, and Texas Book Festival YA programming.

Full article here. Also, check out my post on 2010 books by Austin authors here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS, by Arthur Slade (Wendy Lamb/Random House 2009)(ages 10+). In Victorian London, fourteen year-old Modo -- a shape-changing hunchback -- has been raised in seclusion since he was an infant by a Mr. Socrates, leader of a secret society determined to protect the British Empire.

His first assignment: to determine what has caused a group of young men -- Britain's finest -- to turn on their fathers with murderous intent, and figure out if it relates to the kidnapping of scores of orphans.

In THE DARK DEEPS: THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS 2 (Wendy Lamb/Random House 2010), Modo finds his second: travel to New York to find out why one of their agents has disappeared and unlock the secret of the "Big Fish."

In THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS series, Arthur Slade presents a likeable protagonist in a fantastical, steampunk-inspired Britain. Modo's struggles between duty and self are compelling and the stories are action-packed. Readers will eagerly anticipate book 3.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GREGLSBLOG Favorites of 2010

This post is to highlight some of the 2010 books I've read, particularly enjoyed, and blogged in 2010.

Caveats: (1) It is not intended to be comprehensive. (2) Really, all the books I've blogged this year are, in some sense, favorites
(You can check them out in the sidebar). (3) I am still reading 2010 books and will likely blog some in the future. (4) I have read and enjoyed many more 2010 books than I have had a chance to blog and will likely add them to the blog in 2011.

Picture Books

Holler Loudly, by Cynthia Leitich Smith, ill. by Barry Gott. An exuberant read-aloud about a very loud boy. And, yes, I am married to the author :-).

Shark vs. Train, by Chris Barton, ill. by Tom Lichtenfeld. Whose plaything will reign supreme?

Mostly Monsterly, by Tammi Sauer, Ill. by Scott Magoon. Bernadette is a most unmonsterly monster...

Soar, Elinor, by Tami Lewis Brown, ill. by Francois Roca. The story of Elinor Smith and her attempt to fly under all the East River bridges...

Middle Grade

One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia. Engaging protagonist in a turbulent era.

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester, by Barbara O'Connor. You'd try it, too...

The Healing Spell, by Kimberley Griffiths Little. Can Livie cure her mother?

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, by Tom Angleberger. Is Dwight really channeling the powers of the Jedi?

Young Adult

Alien Invasion and other Inconveniences, by Brian Yansky. The aftermath of the twelve-second conquest of the Earth.

Black Hole Sun, by David Macinnis Gill. Mars, red in tooth and claw.

Finnikin of the Rock, by Melina Marchetta. An epic fantasy with a touch of romance.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hollering loudly! [updated]

The news and reviews for HOLLER LOUDLY are pouring in:

"Readers as well as listeners will have fun with this animated story, and the Southwestern twang will just come naturally." School Library Journal

"A rambunctious, can't-lose read-aloud no one will want to hush." Kirkus Reviews

"With prose as raucous as its protagonist, Smith's (Santa Knows) tall tale introduces a boy who at birth 'cried so loud.... that the pecans fell from the pecan trees and the prickly pear cacti sprouted more needles.' This effervescent collaboration. . .has sass aplenty." Publishers' Weekly

"Lively prose is complemented by an exuberant design and palette. Hot pinks and wild purples, along with the exaggeratedly large open mouths of the characters, give this romp just the right treatment...A fabulous read-aloud that everyone will 'HUSH!' to hear." Horn Book Magazine.

"This original tall tale is a readaloud dream, full of big, brazen shouts and playful homey dialect. There’s hilarity in the chaos Holler’s volume causes, and the ending, wherein Holler learns the value of quiet and the townsfolk learn the value of loudness, is satisfyingly even-handed and logical." BCCB

Gift Guide: Books for All Ages by Nancy Churnin from The Dallas Morning News. "Gott's drawings of 10-gallon hats lend a Texas twang to Austin author Smith's tale of a boy who lives up to his name, much to the exasperation of his parents. Happily, he finds a good use for that loud voice and learns the value of quiet time."

Go check out author Jama Rattigan's SOUP OF THE DAY post for HOLLER LOUDLY: Wahoo! Yahoo! Two hoots and a holler!

Also, go see the interview of Cynthia at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast!

BLESSED news and ETERNAL fan trailer awesomeness...

Reviews are starting to come in on BLESSED (available, January 25, 2011):

"A guardian angel joins forces with an unusually humane vampire and a host of shape-shifters in this appealing melding of characters from Smith's earlier novels, Tantalize (2007) and Eternal (2009). The pages fairly smolder...[and] readers will again be pulled into this wild and ultimately fascinating...alternate universe." Kirkus Reviews

"As in the first two novels, the main attractions are the clever and campy blend of the supernatural and the everyday and the thoroughly entertaining characters, human and otherwise...A hearty meal for the thinking vampire reader." Horn Book Magazine

And here's the awesome fan trailer for ETERNAL:

Monday, December 13, 2010


CLAUDE MONET: THE PAINTER WHO STOPPED THE TRAINS, by P.I. Maltbie, ill. by Jos. A. Smith (Abrams 2010). This nonfiction picture book tells the story of Claude Monet's winter at the Saint-Lazare train station in Paris, where he created an innovative series of paintings of trains arriving and leaving.

The text is engaging, informative, and sometimes amusing. The art is occasionally whimsical and yet evokes the impressionist style, especially the scenes in the train station. CLAUDE MONET provides a fascinating look at an artist more known, perhaps, for water lilies than the products of industry. Paintings from the Saint-Lazare series can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Harvard Art Museum.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


DINOSAUR MOUNTAIN, by Deborah Kogan Ray (FSG 2010). This picture book tells the story of Earl Douglass, bone prospector for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (who discovered some of that museum's most prized specimens, including Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Barosaurus, and Camptosaurus) and the creation of Dinosaur National Monument.

Text is informative and compelling. Sidebar quotes from Douglass's journals and facts about the Mesozoic provide added context. The art elegantly complements the text, showing not only Douglass in action, but also the "tools of the trade," and maps of the Jurassic West. A fine introduction to the "down and dirty" of the Golden Age of dinosaur paleontology.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


JUSTIN CASE: SCHOOL, DROOL, AND OTHER DAILY DISASTERS, by Rachel Vail (Feiwel and Friends 2010)(ages 7-10). Justin, about to enter third grade, is nervous, and has much to be nervous about. His sister is starting kindergarten, he didn't get the teacher he wanted, his best friend is in another class, his favorite stuffed animal has gone missing, and there's a monster in the basement. Which may have taken the stuffed animal (which he still cares about even though he's too old for stuffed animals). How will he survive the year?

Told in a diary format that brings the reader along with Justin on his third-grade travails, JUSTIN CASE is funny, charming, and heartwarming. Drawings by Matthew Cordell evoke Justin's angst and are a perfect complement to the text.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Dinosaur Hall, photo courtesy of Houston Natural Sciences Museum

Big news from the Houston Museum of Natural Science (Houston, TX)! They've unearthed a nearly complete, articulated Dimetrodon skeleton, scheduled to go on display in the museum's paleo hall in 2012 (This is a big deal because, despite what you see in museums, paleontologists rarely find nearly whole fossil vertebrates).

Check out the HNSM blog post here. Oh, and Dimetrodon is a synapsid, not a dinosaur. It's also from the mid-Permian, so predates dinosaurs by about 30 million years. Oddly enough, although it looks like a reptile, it's actually closer to mammals.

Cyn and I took a trip to the the Houston Museum of Natural Science a couple years ago. It's just one museum in the Houston Museum District, near Rice University.

Homo sapiens (foreground) with juvenile Edmontosaurus

The museum, which is now a century old, has at the center of its Mesozoic display a Tyrannosaurus rex that stalks an adult and juvenile Edmontosaurus. A large sauropod stands aloof from the whole thing, while a Quetzalcoatlus soars overhead (see top photo). A number of smaller "raptors" and birds watch from afar.

Turtle (Toxochelys, I believe) and Mosasaur

The museum also features a number of life re-creations, including an ankylosaur being attacked by a pack of dromaeosaurs. (The ankylosaur, in fact, is the one Sinclair had built for the New York World's Fair. Two others are in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose.).

Dromaeosaurus (top left), Ankylosaurus (left), and Homo sapiens

More pictures from the Natural Sciences Museum can be found here. Also, apparently, they're currently expanding the museum, so these pics will soon be out of date :-).

Friday, December 10, 2010


ESCAPING THE TIGER, by Laura Manivong (HarperCollins 2010)(10+). It's 1982 and twelve year-old Vonlai and his family have escaped from communist Laos across the Mekong into neighboring Thailand.

There, they are held at the squalid Na Pho refugee camp, where they must struggle if they are ever to survive to the brighter future they are hoping for. But when his sister is threatened, Vonlai takes matters into his own hands...

ESCAPING THE TIGER offers an engaging protagonist in a poignant and thought-provoking story of family and dignity. Vonlai's hopes and fears ring true as he deals with family, friends, and foes alike, and as he comes of age in the refugee camp. Flashbacks to their lives in communist Laos provide additional texture and contrast.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, by Melina Marchetta (Candlewick 2010)(12+). At the age of nine, Finnikin, son of the captain of the King's Guard, witnesses a bloody coup in the kingdom of Lumatere. After a brutal massacre, the kingdom is placed under a curse: no one can enter or leave. But Finnikin himself has been spirited away.

Ten years later, Finnikin trains with the former king's first man, traveling to refugee camps, seeking out fellow Lumaterans in exile. Then they encounter the mysterious Evanjalin, who claims she can speak, in her dreams, to those trapped inside Lumatere. And she might just have a plan to release the curse and overthrow the imposter...

FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK is a thoroughly enjoyable, thrilling and textured tale of survival, hope, love, and justice. The plot is complex and the fantasy world richly-detailed. Characters are layered, likeable, and believable. Altogether, FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK is a compelling read, full of action and adventure and heart.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


THE BODY AT THE TOWER (THE AGENCY, BOOK 2), by Y.S. Lee (Candlewick 2010). Mary Quinn is back in this sequel to THE AGENCY: A SPY IN THE HOUSE. This time, she's disguised as a 12 year-old errand boy at the Palace of Westminster construction site to uncover the truth behind the fall of a bricklayer from atop St. Stephen's Tower. Along the way, she discovers plots within plots and finds herself having to negotiate who and what she is and wants to be...

THE AGENCY: THE BODY IN THE TOWER is another finely-wrought historical mystery, bringing to life the seamier side of a richly-imagined Victorian London. Readers will eagerly anticipate Book 3.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


TYGER, TYGER, by Kersten Hamilton, (Clarion 2010)(12+). Sixteen year-old Chicagoan Teagan Wyllston's life is turned upside down when her seventeen year-old cousin, Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives to live with the family. It turns out that the mysterious and streetwise Finn is destined to lead the battle against the goblins -- the unearthly and evil sidhe of lore -- but has inadvertently led them to Teagan and her five year-old brother Aidan, who may have powers of their own. When their father is kidnapped by the goblins, Teagen must discover what and who she is and undertakes a rescue mission that leads her directly into Mag Mell, the heart of goblin power.

In TYGER, TYGER, Hamilton provides an intricately-wrought, suspenseful, fantasy adventure-mystery. Major and minor characters alike are well-drawn, believable, and, occasionally, funny. In short, TYGER, TYGER is an elegant and compelling update on the stuff of Irish myth and legend.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Orlando dinosaurs...

Since this year's NCTE/ALAN conference is being held in Orlando, I thought I'd post a bit about the area's dinosaur attractions :-). Photos are from a couple years ago.

Jurassic Park, Universal Studios (Orlando FL). You enter through the King-Kong gates just like in the movie (and to the movie soundtrack!). Inside, they've got Mesozoic plants and recreations of Tyrannosaurus rex and Spinosaurus looming over the Jurassic Park Ford Explorers. A "hands on" lab lets you get up close and personal with eggs, skeletons, and other reproductions. Oh, and the water ride is absolutely terrific.

Spinosaurus and me.

Dinoland USA, Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom (Orlando FL). They've got skeletons of Tyrannosaurus rex and Brachiosaurus, as well as reproductions of Ornithomimus, Corythosaurus, and Triceratops in a Mesozoic plant setting. (Their big ride is also supposed to be great, but we didn't get a chance to go on it).

Corythosaurus and me.

Also at Disney's Animal Kingdom is an attraction they call "Conservation Station," which involves a look at wildlife conservation efforts. And, they've got the life-sized cutout below of a rhinoceros, which I include for the sake of comparison :-).

Sunday, November 21, 2010


TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T, by Bethany Hegedus (Delacorte 2010)(ages 8-12). Eleven year-old Maebelle T. is excited to be spending the summer with her musician grandparents in their newly-inherited antebellum mansion. But it turns out her newly-adopted cousin Isaac from Chicago, the trumpet prodigy, is going to be spending the summer there, too.

Worse, Maebelle has been dropped from the Gifted and Talented program at her school. Can she find her talent in time for the town's anniversary celebration and return to Atlanta at summer's end? And what's with the deal with the mansion's locked wing?

TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T is an enjoyable, honest, and thought-provoking story of friendship, history, and family secrets. Told with humor and full of Southern charm and wit, TRUTH WITH THE CAPITAL T will have readers wanting to march right down to Tweedle, Gerogia in time for the festivities.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hollerin' Loudly

Last Sunday was the release party at Book People for Cynthia Leitich Smith, Bethany Hegedus, and Brian Yansky and their Fall 2010 releases, HOLLER LOUDLY, TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T, and ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES! Here are some pics! Also check out Cyn's report for more.

As y'all can see, the place was packed! In the photo above, I'm manning the computer for the PowerPoint and videos.
The refreshments table, including cake with all three book covers, fruit plate, assorted cheeses, crock pot, and Anne Bustard's alien sugar cookies!
A closer view of the refreshments, including Bethany's own turkey chili!
Here, Carmen Oliver and daughter work the press-on alien-head tattoo table.

Bethany and Brian look on while Cyn speaks.

Thanks to everyone who came, and especially to BookPeople and Anne Bustard and Carmen Oliver.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More Hollering...Happy Release Day! [Updated]


We just received the box of author copies of HOLLER LOUDLY!

Cyn has a new interview with Shannon Morgan on the Holler Loudly Teacher Guides!

Update 11/11: Check out an interview with illustrator Barry Gott!

And, just a reminder, at 2 PM, Sunday, November 14, 2010, at Book People, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Bethany Hegedus, and Brian Yansky are having a Texas-sized launch party for their Fall 2010 releases, HOLLER LOUDLY, TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T, and ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES:

Admission is free and open to the public. There will be cake and cookies and chili and giveaways!

Check out an interview with Bethany at Through the Tollbooth, and a guest post by Brian at Cynsations!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


TIME TRAVELER: IN SEARCH OF DINOSAURS AND ANCIENT MAMMALS FROM MONTANA TO MONGOLIA, by Michael Novacek (FSG 2002). Published for adults, but also excellent for any teen with an interest in science in general and paleontology in particular. TIME TRAVELER is an enormously readable memoir by the Senior Vice President and Provost of Science at the American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Novacek carries the reader into the field, from the late 1960s when he was a lowly graduate student, to the turn of the century, when he led ground-breaking expeditions into formerly off-limits sites in Mongolia.

Fascinating and compelling, TIME TRAVELER is a tale of adventure, science, occasional disappointment, and the triumph of curiosity.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

November happenings...

If you happen to be in Kalamazoo, Michigan this Friday, check out the KPL Youth Lit. seminar, where Cynthia will be speaking on "Crossing Borders." Other speakers include Gillian Engberg, YA editor of Book List magazine; Debbie Reese, Indian Studies professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Western Michigan University professors Maria Perez-Stable and Beth Amidon.

Also, check out Cynthia's interviews at the RIF blog, and at Book Reviews and More.

And don't forget! At 2 PM, Sunday, November 14, 2010, at Book People, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Bethany Hegedus, and Brian Yansky are having a Texas-sized launch party for their Fall 2010 releases, HOLLER LOUDLY, TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T, and ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Austin Dinosaurs: Sarahsaurus, the Dino Pit, and the Hartmann Prehistoric Garden

Last October, I ran a post about the Texas Memorial Museum, UT's natural history museum. But that's not the only place in town for dinosaur-related activity:

The Hartmann Prehistoric Garden (Austin, TX) is an entire garden in Zilker Park devoted to Mesozoic plants that have survived to the present. You can get up close to cycads, gingkos, magnolias, cypresses, dawn redwoods, and more ferns than you can shake a stick at.

The Garden was inspired by the discovery of ornithomimid footprints on the site in the early 90s, so they decided to run with it (pun intended). It's a pretty spectacular experience, beautiful and oddly strange, when you think about the fact that these plants have been around for hundreds of millions of years. Also, the pond you see above has gar and other fish that trace their ancestry back to the Mesozoic, as well.

And it sits in the shadow of Mopac Expressway. Although you can't see the cars, you can hear them, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition.

Right next door is the Austin Nature and Science Center, which has its own Dino-Pit, an outdoor paleontology exhibit where kids can "dig" for their own fossils. They'll "find" casts of fossils from the Pleistocene, the Cretaceous, and the Permian.

Oh, and what's a Sarahsaurus? It's this guy:

It's a sauropodomorph found by University of Texas paleontologist Tim Rowe in Arizona. It's from 190 million years ago (early Jurassic), when dinosaurs were just getting started...And it's named after Sarah Butler, the Austin philanthropist who was instrumental in raising funds for the Dino Pit.

Here's a nice article in the Statesman. And here's a link to a PDF of the official paper, from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Photos were taken by me; Sarahsaurus graphic is from the Statesman.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holler Loudly! It's an Alien Invasion! And that's the Truth with a Capital T!

Save the date! At 2 PM, Sunday, November 14, 2010, at Book People, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Bethany Hegedus, and Brian Yansky are having a Texas-sized launch party for their Fall 2010 releases, HOLLER LOUDLY, TRUTH WITH A CAPITAL T, and ALIEN INVASION AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES:

Flap Copy: Holler Loudly has a voice as big as the Southwestern sky, and everywhere he goes people tell him to "Hush!" From math class to the movies and even the state fair, Holler's LOUD voice just keeps getting on people's nerves. But Holler can't help himself—being loud is who he is!

Will Holler ever find a way to let loose his voice—without getting into trouble?

"With prose as loud as its protagonist...this effervescent collaboration...has sass aplenty." -Publisher's Weekly.

"A rambunctious, can't-lose read-aloud no one will want to hush." -Kirkus Reviews

Flap Copy: With grace and humor and a heaping helping of little-known facts, Bethany Hegedus incorporates the passions of the North and the South and bridges the past and the present in this story about one summer in the life of a sassy Southern girl and her trumpet-playing adopted Northern cousin.

"[A] nicely drawn cast of characters with depth and dimension." -Kirkus Reviews

Flap Copy: Brian Yansky takes readers on a journey filled with humor and courage, where one teenage boy has to figure out what exactly it means to be human.

"Alien Invasion is nothing if not action-packed, and yet it is provocative, profound, and wickedly funny as well." -The Horn Book

Monday, October 18, 2010

Texas Book Festival 2010 Recap [Updated]

Capitol of Texas, undergoing renovation.

Well, the 15th Texas Book Festival is in the bag and, once again, a tremendous celebration of authors and literature from around the nation, and fund-raising for Texas libraries.

Friday night, Cyn and I picked up Heather Brewer and Andrea Cremer from their hotel and took them to the children and YA author reception at Clay Smith's. It was a festive occasion, with catering from Maudie's and a frozen margarita machine on the patio. We ran into Austinites Don Tate, Varian Johnson, Brian Yansky, April Lurie, Emma Virjan, Jennifer Ziegler, Chris Barton, K.A. Holt, Margo Rabb, Liz Garton Scanlon, Jo Whittemore, and P.J. Hoover. We also chatted with Ingrid Law, Laurie Halse Anderson, Cinda Chima, Matt de la Pena, and others.

Saturday morning, we attended the panel "Century Before Last: Three Novelists Channel the 1800s," with Deborah Noyes, Robin Oliveira, and Ann Weisgarber. We learned about how the three research the past and dive into their respective eras.

We also hit Ann Angel's session on Janis Jolin: Rise Up Singing, introduced by P.J. Hoover. The session was entertaining and provided new insights about the Austin icon.

Finally, that afternoon, we attended the panel, "True Grit: Kids with Chutzpah," with Carolyn Cohagan, Lisa Railsback, and Sara Pennypacker, and moderated by Bethany Hegedus. The discussion focused on giving characters attitude and courage, and was lively and informative.

Carolyn, Ingrid, Me, Brian, and Cinda.

The panel I moderated, "Portals to Imagined Worlds," with Brian Yansky (Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences); Ingrid Law (Scumble); Carolyn Cohagan (The Lost Children); and Cinda Williams Chima (The Exiled Queen: A Seven Realms Novel), got Sunday off to a terrific start. The discussion was fun and funny and substantive; and the room was packed. Among other things, it was established that none of the panelists outline, although they do try to get character and voice first.

Later that afternoon, Cyn performed HOLLER LOUDLY in the Read Me a Story tent while I introduced M.T. Anderson. He talked about the perils of writing about the mysterious interior of Delaware and how he, himself, is not much of a traveler.

M.T. Anderson and Liz Garton Scanlon.

After signing, we wandered down Congress Avenue where we ran into Jennifer Ziegler, Matt de la Pena, April Lurie, Varian Johnson, and Amy Rose Capetta and had a drink at the Stephen F. Austin. And then we crashed.

Many thanks to everyone who's worked to make the book festival a success all these years!


For more recaps: Cynthia Leitich Smith; Jennifer Ziegler; Don Tate.

Also, check out the article in the Dallas Morning News!
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